Washington Update

March 6th, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

Export controls conversation moving forward despite Commerce personnel shake-up

The tightening of the direct product and de minimis rules, targeting Huawei, remain on the table despite a key personnel change at the Department of Commerce. On Monday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that Earl Comstock, director of policy and strategic planning, would be stepping down today. It is unclear exactly what prompted the announcement, or who will replace Comstock, but the decision has...

February 21st, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

Phase One implementation begins

US officials continued to affirm this week that no request from China to delay implementation of the Phase One trade deal had been received, and that it was on track despite concerns about COVID-19. In a move that could pave the way for the increased purchases outlined in the expanding trade chapter of the deal, including agricultural products, China announced a new list of products that will be eligible for tariff exclusions. Yesterday, the United...

January 31st, 2020
By Chynna Hawes
Phase One implementation still unclear

Several questions remain about the implementation of the Phase One trade agreement due to come into force on February 14. With little information from US or Chinese officials as to whether tariffs on various goods will be rolled back, there are doubts over the prospects of purchase commitments being met, and questions about the timeframe. Prospects for “phase two” negotiations are also unclear. In conversations with the US-China Business Council,...

January 11th, 2019

US-China trade talks review substantive issues, but no outcomes to date

Trade negotiations between the United States and China this week covered both structural issues and the trade balance. While no agreement was reached—nor was one expected—the substantive discussions laid the groundwork for further negotiations on the most difficult bilateral trade issues.

US-China Business Council sources indicate that the talks were extended to a third day to...

December 17th, 2018

Initial actions announced on US-China trade issues, though much work remains

The United States and China this week took initial steps to reduce tensions in bilateral trade.

On Monday evening, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and Vice Premier Liu He spoke by phone. A brief statement released by the Ministry of Commerce said that “both sides exchanged their views on the timetable and roadmap for pushing...

November 5th, 2018
By Angela Deng

Internal work begins on US trade priorities for Trump-Xi meeting at G20

According to news reports, President Donald Trump’s phone call with President Xi Jinping on Thursday has prompted the administration to initiate an internal process of identifying potential terms of an agreement to address US trade concerns when the presidents meet after the G20 summit on December 1. The meeting was rescheduled from November 29 to upgrade it from discussions on the sidelines of the G20 to a “...

September 28th, 2018

US-China trade tensions escalate as tariffs and trade rhetoric intensify

Section 301 tariffs

The United States and China officially imposed additional tariffs on each other’s products on Monday. The United Statesimplemented an additional tariff rate of 10 percent on $200 billion of Chinese imports, which will be raised to 25 percent by the beginning of next year. China retaliated with tariff rates of 5 and 10 percent on $60 billion of US imports.

Together with the...

September 15th, 2018
By Angela Deng

Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin invites Vice Premier Liu He to talk

Earlier this week, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin sent an invitation to China’s Vice Premier Liu He to hold higher-level talks on US-China trade. While both sides have confirmed the invitation, it is unclear whether a meeting will take place and the level of participants. It is also uncertain what will be on the agenda for discussion. The invitation comes as the United States is still considering...

August 13th, 2018
By Angela Deng

US and China finalize tariffs on $16 billion of goods; more tariffs on the horizon while talks are pushed back by the administration

On Wednesday, the United States and China finalized their lists of $16 billion worth of goods on which they will impose 25 percent tariffs against each other starting August 23. Once the tariffs on the $16 billion of goods go into effect, the US and China will have imposed tariffs on a total of $50 billion of goods from each side. The United States...